Why South Carolina is One of the Top Pro Small Business States

Businesses have a choice where to open up shop. It's crucial to choose wisely in a state, like South Carolina, that has business' back.

BY: RICHARD BERTCH ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 02, 2020
Why South Carolina is One of the Top Pro Small Business States

The United States is a symbol of corporate success. A former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, once said, “The chief business of America is business.” Within America, South Carolina is accepted as one of the most business-friendly states, while being among the region’s strongest economies. Furthermore, the Tax Foundation, America’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit, ranks South Carolina’s corporate tax rate, 4th lowest in the nation. Moreover, a recent report on the small business environment in South Carolina by the reputed Business News Daily, states, “…South Carolina came out of the Great Recession looking strong, and continues to log adequate growth rates year after year.” Furthermore, the Commerce Department of South Carolina reaches out to change opinions regarding small businesses, through incentive programs to attract new businesses and to help existing ones, as an opportunity to create jobs, raise revenues and promote growth.

For instance, South Carolina has 418,031 small businesses, which account for 99.4% of the state’s total businesses. Furthermore, 794,711 of South Carolina residents, amounting to 46.3% of the state’s workforce, are employed in small businesses, while, in 2016, 59% of the nearly 31,000 new jobs in small businesses, were from establishments employing 20 or fewer. South Carolina startups have also triumphed over inevitable startup challenges, with 79.68% surviving their first year of existence, which is above the national average.

Business Incentives

Entrepreneurs should consider different incentives South Carolina offers for business, manufacturing and services, as it powerfully reaches out to lure small businesses seeking relative economic advantages across the nation. They should sift through “a broad spectrum of viewpoints that encourage readers to confront their own biases,” as Colin St. John, Editor-in-Chief of the Doe, says. The Doe is a new type of digital publication that shares anonymous, verified narratives to promote civil discussion.

South Carolina business successes could be attributed to paying attention to South Carolina’s aggressive incentives, which provide necessary preconditions to grow business. For instance, the state offers the following statutory incentives:

  • No state property taxes
  • No local income taxes
  • No inventory taxes
  • No sales tax on manufacturing machinery, industrial power or materials for finished products
  • No wholesale taxes
  • No unitary tax on worldwide profits
  • Favorable 5% corporate income tax rate, one of the lowest in southeast U.S.

South Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce, in its own effort to promote meaningful civic discussion, lays out, on its web site, some fundamental points which a sensible entrepreneur should seriously consider.

Business Funding

The first priority, the Chamber states, is the initial good idea, which promotes a new product or service, or enhances an already existing one. This should be followed by extensive in-depth research on identifying a target market and a demand scenario for the product in South Carolina, focused on its standing with competition.

With South Carolina identified as the favored location, the business plan should be created, which is simultaneously, the raison d'être of the business, and a powerful tool to attract investors. In particular, the business plan needs to include balance sheets to estimate expenditure for at least the initial year. Around 82% of businesses fail in their critical first year because they lack cash flow.

For entrepreneurs who lack financial capability to fund their businesses, South Carolina offers options like U.S. Small Business Administration loans, commercial bank loans, equity crowdfunding campaigns, angel investors and venture capitalists in the state.

Pro Business Ideals

Similar to Colin St. John speaking of The Doe’s “extraordinary pursuit of unbiased discourse,” NerdWallet, reputed U.S. financial information expert, has looked into different important aspects of life in South Carolina, including local economic health, to provide potential small businesses “pure, unvarnished and often raw perspectives,” as The Doe does to readers. By studying annual median income, annual median housing costs and unemployment rates for each South Carolina community, NerdWallet found areas with high median incomes and low housing costs, which also had lower unemployment rates. Like The Doe, the NerdWallet study intends to “Challenge the way people engage with new ideas.”

Subsequent to examining average revenue of businesses, percentage of businesses with paid employees, and the number of businesses per 100 people, NerdWallet unhesitatingly concludes that South Carolina has a business-friendly climate. And it goes with saying that such a hospitable and inviting business environment is easily able to attract small businesses. These would be like The Doe’s “unfiltered narratives from anonymous sources—drawing attention to a broad spectrum of viewpoints that encourage readers to confront their own biases.”

Thus, it would be useful for small businesses to consider the conclusions of the study, in deciding on the crucial issue of where to establish their business.

NerdWallet has identified the following cities in South Carolina that offer the most favorable business climate:

  • Seneca - has the highest percentage of businesses with paid employees.
  • Greenville – is the state’s 6th largest city, and friendly to existing and growing small businesses.
  • Myrtle Beach – has tourist-centered businesses, as it attracts 14 million visitors in-season.
  • Greer – has a growing, young, diverse population and businesses that earn 139% more than the state’s average business.
  • Beaufort – is a tourist attraction, recognized for scenery and history and designated a National Historic Landmark. Its commercial hub hosts local businesses.
  • Georgetown – Close to Myrtle Beach, and has low housing costs; an ideal location for low business costs.
  • Orangeburg – the city’s major industries focus on manufacturing
  • North Charleston – has major manufacturing companies like Boeing, and is the state’s leader in retailing.
  • Fort Mill - benefits from its small-town charm and opportunities in neighboring Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Mauldin – has an inviting atmosphere for business. Moonstruck Specialty, a boutique selling women’s apparel, is a noteworthy success story. Benefits from its small-town charm as well as opportunities in neighboring Charlotte, North Carolina.

In the words of British business magnate, Sir Richard Branson, “Don’t wait till you are big before you begin building your brand. Build a brand from scratch alongside your business.”

American marketing expert, Philip Kotler, adds, “The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.”

About the Author

Richard Bertch

Richard is a contributing finance author at ChamberofCommerce.com and freelance writer about all things business, finance and productivity. With over 10 years of copywriting experience, Richard has worked with brands ranging from Quickbooks to Oracle creating insightful whitepapers, conversion focused product pages and thought leadership blog posts. Richard can be reached at richardbertch@gmail.com.

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